Hong Kong's government was urged Friday to investigate after six banks were found to have sold the personal data of customers to insurance companies, reports Dow Jones.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said each bank sold the data of 30,000 to 120,000 customers — including details of their savings and credit card accounts — for marketing purposes during the past five years.

The regulator said it made the discovery after surveying 25 banks on their handling of personal data once it emerged that the e-payments operator Octopus Holdings had sold the information of 2 million customers for $5.7 million.

The Octopus incident forced its chief executive, Prudence Chan, who initially denied the sales had taken place, to resign this month.

The regulatory agency said the city's banking laws forbid it from revealing the names of the banks involved in the data sales, but it added that the banks had stopped selling the information.

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